He had a reputation for being a bit crazy: but what he said was nice. I would almost say that his madness was beautiful. And I enjoyed listening to him:
– They, the easy ones leave. We remain, the difficult ones: the stranded, the twisted ones. The ones who have to pull life out of stones every day.
The River. Ana Maria Matute
Pulling life out of the stones presages monstrous voids at your fingertips. To perceive it, it is necessary to transform them into pupils, eardrums, and antennae. It means imagining ourselves, in short, as new beings in the infancy, capable at times of avoiding trembling in front of that “void” of a time fully open.
We keep paying attention to what surrounds us, here, on the other side of the windows of this rural school. Between mountains, rivers, crops and pastures. What remains of the landscape in the landscape or how much there is of nature in nature. We usually wonder. As we go through the doors, we look into an antefuture: a library of never-fully-materialized landscapes, mutant, through which to feel a world to come. Images of perpetual extractions under and above the ground. Shaked pasts and futures in dissolution.
On the Verge of Being Nothing is a common “blues” used by the oldest inhabitants in these neighbourhoods. Places that now are connected by readings, artworks, field sessions, furrows and a curl of chasms. Some are excavated in time, others by water and others with dynamite.
To climb and to hang down into those voids, to listen to their vibration and to tie to it one morning, we have searched among the remains of imaginaries and changing matters that are almost always about to be nothing. We have gathered some of them, accompanied, cross-country, by Irene Grau, Juan López and Jorge Yeregui.
At the edge of that abyss, the erect arboreal sports of the Sigillarias and Dicksonias used to filter the air during the Carboniferous, before meeting the edge of pickaxes and axes under the ground today, millions of years later. Before being mixed with blasts and hydroseeding to mutate, again in the open air, in tomorrow’s pastures and futures market. That is our meeting point.
Along this path, we have found a lot of company and also –it is essential to recognize it– the work, voices and previous research by Ignacio Iriarte, Alberto Ruíz de Samaniego, Aurora Fernández Polanco, Lynn Margulis, Marisol de la Cadena, Andrés Díaz Herrero, Donna Haraway, Chema Sarmiento, Nikolaus Geirhalter, the Museum of León, the Royal Artillery Academy of Segovia or Ciudad de la Energía Foundation_CIUDEN. Throughout this time, we have also felt motivations and hurdles from other forms of life and matter: buffalos, capercaillies, troglofauna, smoke and rocks from almost anywhere, essential to keep imagining; and, in short, to avoid stop touching –and conserving– the soil.
This post is also available in: Spanish